[This article will continue to be updated as developments unfold, stay tuned!]
Peter Watts, the Canadian science fiction author who wrote the story to Crysis 2 and Homeworld 2, has been found guilty of assaulting a U.S border guard. IMPORTANT UPDATE: It has now come to light that Watts was only found guilty of obstructing/ignoring a request by a border guard. His non compliance resulted in the officer macing him.
Last December, Watts claimed that while in the U.S he had been beaten up, pepper sprayed, denied legal counsel, held in a cold cell before being released into a Canadian blizzard without a coat. The news was first broken on the blog Boing Boing, using the authors set of events.
Update: Here’s more from Peter, in his own words: “Along some other timeline, I did not get out of the car to ask what was going on. I did not repeat that question when refused an answer and told to get back into the vehicle. In that other timeline I was not punched in the face, pepper-sprayed, shit-kicked, handcuffed, thrown wet and half-naked into a holding cell for three fucking hours, thrown into an even colder jail cell overnight, arraigned, and charged with assaulting a federal officer, all without access to legal representation (although they did try to get me to waive my Miranda rights. Twice.). Nor was I finally dumped across the border in shirtsleeves: computer seized, flash drive confiscated, even my fucking paper notepad withheld until they could find someone among their number literate enough to distinguish between handwritten notes on story ideas and, I suppose, nefarious terrorist plots. I was not left without my jacket in the face of Ontario’s first winter storm, after all buses and intercity shuttles had shut down for the night.
According to officer Andrew Beaudry, when he approached Watts for a routine border inspection, the writer tried to choke him. Update: These allegations have been fudged slightly by Watts and one witness claiming that he did not do anything. Peter now faces a lengthy and expensive legal process if he is to avoid jail.
Watts has been bailed for the moment, but will be sentenced on April 26th and faces up to 2 years in jail.